I started scribbling the notes to this entry as I was sitting in a cozy living room in Southampton this morning. I had packed up early so I could write while the rest of my party prepared for our afternoon departure. There is so much of the trip I’d love to write about—the bike rides, the breakfasts, or the quiet times when everyone in the house was doing their thing. I could go on for hours about the photo-shoot project that started it all and how charming the trip was, but there is only one thing that I wanted to focus on: Saturday dinner.
On Saturday, we got back from the beach as the night began to set in. We had spent a few hours or so telling jokes and playing Vanity Fair’s In Character game as we snapped pictures and bonded while sipping beer and champagne on the shore. On our ride back, we decided to have an Italian-style family dinner at the house. Everything from gourmet appetizers to preparing the homemade dessert and coffee for after dinner. The girls broke up into groups; some set the table while others began to prepare the main courses. The boys handled the BBQ.
The dining room setting immediately felt quite cozy. We cracked jokes over dinner but it wasn’t until the end of the meal that everyone began to get really get comfortable in their seats. As the wine glasses got refilled and the coffee came out, I began to throw some “would you rather…?” scenarios out on the table. We’d been having such a lovely time that it seemed natural to attempt to make it a little more intimate. The newest addition to my family, Aaron, then suggested that we go around the table and speak about the highs and lows of our week. As the dessert came out, there we were, each of us talking about tiny moments in our week that had given us peace or caused us to feel discomfort. It was so amazing to have a glimpse into so many lives, so many high and low moments that people carry around and omit in everyday conversation. It was humbling that everyone had something to say. It made me realize that each of us had done our very best to get through the week and each of us had come with the intention of having a good time. This might sound silly, but it made me realize that sometimes we don’t have the clear intention of having a good time. Unfortunately, sometimes, other factors dominate the mix of things running the show.
We moved on to discuss our WTF NYC moments and complemented them with small things that you come to appreciate in daily life. The conversation just kept spiraling out to so many moving points that I found it difficult to get up from my seat.
In time, I’ve come to realize that the most amazing moments that one can be a part of are far from perfect, but they are real. This is what made the weekend and dinner so soft and sweet for all of us—the fact that for a little while in the dining room we were just all very real and very present. We had come to get away, but not as an escape. We had brought our worries with us and gracefully laid them out on the table as Louis Armstrong’s “La Vie en Rose” played. Everything just felt very Bob Marley, you know? It was all just …all right. The music gods were definitely with us that night.
So, no matter what kind of ordeal you are going through, no matter what low note hits, … the high is on its way. Make sure you tell someone about it and if you can, do it over dinner and make sure to order dessert. Oh, and please, take your time.